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|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog An Unwanted Surprise In Your PaycheckThe Treasury Department recently announced revisions to the 2018 withholding tables to reflect the changes spurred by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Included in the law, employers can use worker's existing W-4 Forms already on file to make the adjustments to their withholding. What that means for employers: Since it isn't mandatory for employees to review their W-4 form after their initial employment, employers may want to reach out to workers to encourage them to thoroughly review their pay stubs after the first payroll with the new withholding rates. Additionally, new forms will be forthcoming from the IRS, so employers will need to again communicate with workers about completing the new form to update their individual withholdings. What the changes mean for workers: Some 90 percent of workers will see an increase in their weekly pay as a result of the TCJA according to Government estimates. The Tax Policy Center estimates that about 80 percent of all filers will see a tax cut, while approximately 5 percent will see an increase, and no change for the remaining 15 percent. What's the issue? Many Americans haven't reviewed or even seen their W-4 Form since they were hired, so changes to the withholding could have more serious impact on a family that has grown or shrank over the years. Tax payers who are either under or over-withholding aren't going to see the full impact of the change until it comes time to pay their 2018 income taxes - too late to make what could be costly changes. "The results could vary dramatically from one individual to the next," says Steven Feinberg, CPA and owner of Appletree Business Services in Londonderry, NH. "We are encouraging both employers and employees to review their withholdings, compare it to their current situation and make any necessary changes now rather than waiting a full year to see what the impact might be." New Tax Brackets for 2018 Single Rate Married Above $500,000 37% Above $600,000 $200,001-$500,000 35% $400,001-$600,000 $157,501-$200,000 32% $315,001-$400,000 $82,501-$157,500 24% $165,001-$315,000 $38,701 -$82,500 22% $77,401-$165,000 $9,526-$38,700 12% $19,051-$77,400 Up to $9,525 10% Up to $19,050 Source: Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference, H.R.1 The new withholding tables have been adjusted to include new larger standard deductions, lower tax rates and the repeal of the personal exemption. What the tables couldn't include is how the changes would affect individuals differently. For example, the reducing alternative minimum tax, expanded child credits and repeal of deductions on the state and local levels. All of these items can come into play and impact what an individual might normally 'expect' for an annual tax refund. Tax officials at the US Treasury and the IRS are working on a revised W-4 form, which they hope to release sometime in February 2018. Those at risk for under-withholding could include employees who receive bonuses, stock options or commissions because the withholding rate for that population has dropped from 25 percent to 22 percent. Additionally, parents with dependents over [...]The post An Unwanted Surprise In Your Paycheck appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog 5 Frequent QuickBooks Mistakes Construction Businesses MakeConstruction businesses know very well the importance of having a blueprint before starting a new project. This is the same mindset that is necessary to have when business owners start using QuickBooks for their accounting needs. In order to be successful with QuickBooks, it is important to understand how it functions, otherwise the following mistakes frequently occur. The first mistake that most business owners make, not just construction contractors, is failing to work with an accountant who can explain all the features of QuickBooks and how the different functions can help you with the specific needs of your business. Since many business owners do not understand all that QuickBooks has to offer, they outsource payroll, which is neither cost-effective nor convenient. Contractors also make the mistake of creating different files for each project or job, and using an item list and chart of accounts that doesn't accurately match the needs/expenses of their business. Creating custom item lists and chart of accounts may take some training, but it will enable business owners to track expenses and supplies most accurately. Another mistake that can cause construction business owners a major headache, is failing to properly receive vendor credits against a bill, or receiving payments from customers incorrectly. These errors can be costly, but are also entirely preventable with the right guidance. The other key mistake that construction business owners make is failing to reconcile bank and credit card accounts. This is a critical part of using QuickBooks to manage accounting, so it is well worth asking for help from an accountant to understand how to perform this operation. If you ever need help understanding QuickBooks and account management for your business, reach out to us at Steven J. Wick in Fort Collins. One of our accountants would be happy to go over this information with you, so that you can run a streamlined and profitable business.The post 5 Frequent QuickBooks Mistakes Construction Businesses Make appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog How to Understand Reasonable Compensation for S-Corporation ShareholdersShareholder employees in a corporation must receive reasonable compensation according to the IRS. This means that their compensation can be adjusted if it is too high or too low. While there is no firm set of rules to measure the reasonableness of compensation, there are some regulations in place to ensure that these shareholders get the fairest compensation possible. There are many factors that could affect the tax court's ruling in a reasonable compensation case including, but not limited to: The role that the shareholder employee plays in the company including hours worked, the duties they perform, and their overall qualifications for the position. The financial condition and character of the corporation itself. This also includes the size and complexity of the business. The current compensation of the employee compared to the compensation of people in similar positions at other companies. The likelihood that a potential investor would still foresee a return on investment, after the shareholder's compensation is considered. The current conditions of the economy. The compensation paid to the employee in prior years and his/her salary compared to shareholder distributions. For the tax court to make a decision regarding a shareholder employee's compensation, they will look at a combination of these factors; no single factor will affect the outcome by itself. If you have questions regarding reasonable compensation, contact the accountants at Steven J. Wick in Fort Collins today!The post How to Understand Reasonable Compensation for S-Corporation Shareholders appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog Small Business Tips: Preparing for Tax SeasonIf you started your own business in 2017, April of 2018 will be the first time you file taxes for your company. This is a huge milestone and should be approached with the proper knowledge and tools. As you get ready for tax season, it is important to remember the following factors. Establish Your Business Entity: If you haven't already done so, it is important to meet with a business advisor and establish what type of business entity you are. Businesses can be a variety of different types including a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability corporation (LLC), or a corporation. This will be very important, come tax time. Apply for a Business License: For some industries, it is necessary to obtain a federal business license. Some of these include firearms, aviation, alcohol, transportation, fish and wildlife, and broadcasting. Obtain a Tax/Employer Identification Number: Many sole proprietors use their personal social security number as their tax identification number. Partnerships, LLCs, and corporations, though, are required to obtain an employer identification number. Account for Self-Employment Tax: If you are an independent contractor or sole proprietor with your own business, you are responsible for paying self-employment tax, which consists of Social Security and Medicare. This tax is normally paid for by your employer, but since you work for yourself, you are responsible for it come tax time. The IRS does however, allow you to deduct half the amount of self-employment tax you owe, to reduce financial strain. Provide Employees with a W-2 or 1099: Even if you only have one employee, you must provide them with either a W-2 or 1099 form, which shows their total earnings for the year, and in the case of a W-2, the amount of federal and state tax withheld. A W-2 form is for traditional employees, while a 1099 is a form you would provide to your independent contractors. Tax season can be an overwhelming experience, especially for new business owners. If you have tax questions about your new company, turn to the accountants at Steven J. Wick today!The post Small Business Tips: Preparing for Tax Season appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog 4 Ways to Streamline Your Small BusinessThe difference between entrepreneurs who struggle and those who build an empire is who is able to find the most efficient way to run the business. Business owners who learn to delegate tasks, harness the power of technology, and set clear and feasible goals often work their way to the top. Use these tips to streamline your small business and increase your bottom line. Reinvent hiring: One of the keys to running a successful business is hiring the right employees. You want a staff that is not only skilled at their jobs, but who are genuinely honest people who will go the extra mile for your customers. Many business owners limit their candidate pool when hiring, by only utilizing one or two job boards. Instead, try using Proven. This service takes your one job ad and sends it out to hundreds of job boards, so that you get diverse applicants. You can also manage applications and set up interviews, all in one convenient place. By taking a new approach to hiring, you are more likely to find candidates who better fit with your company culture. Use mobile to your advantage: A great way to stay connected to your main office, especially if you are on the go frequently, is by using mobile apps and integrated programs. By using Office 365 or QuickBooks online, you can easily bring up important financial information, like invoices, from your smartphone or tablet. There are also many apps which help streamline business processes like Skype for Business, Wave (an app that keeps track of business receipts), and Expensify (an app that is linked to your business credit cards, tracks spending, and downloads all purchases to an expense report). Set goals and revisit them often: While keeping the day-to-day operations in line, most business owners put planning for the future on the back burner. By always setting new goals and finding ways to meet them you can plan where you want your business to go and the steps necessary to attain both financial and personal goals. Always make time to reassess your goals, as the business' needs change over time. Use technology responsibly: With all the advances in technology today, there is no reason for your business to suffer in the dark ages. You can easily streamline business processes by harnessing the convenience and simplicity of the latest technology. While technology can be helpful, it is also important to use it responsibly and put the necessary protective measures in place to ensure security online. Another great way to ensure the success of your business is partnering with an experienced and savvy accountant in Fort Collins. Contact us at Steven J. Wick and Associates to learn more about the services we offer small businesses across the Front Range.The post 4 Ways to Streamline Your Small Business appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog 5 Tips for Managing Cash Flow in Your BusinessOne of the most common frustrations that business owners face, especially small business owners, is how to balance cash that is both coming into and leaving the business. The best way to ensure successful cash flow for your business is to partner with an experienced accountant and by following the tips below. Create a Flow Chart: A flow chart is a visual tool that can help you understand the way money enters and leaves your business. By establishing all the costs you incurred when starting, one-time expenses, monthly expenses, and projected sales, you can more accurately see how your business will fair in the long run. Use Tools to Track Cash Flow: There are several resources available to you to assist with tracking your cash flow. The Small Business Administration has a cash flow template available through their website. There is also an app called Pulse which can help you monitor your cash flow. In addition, business owners who use QuickBooks already have a Cash Flow Forecast Report available to them through the software's reporting features. Manage Your Inventory Responsibly: This tip is key for any retail businesses who maintain an inventory. If you keep too much inventory on hand or not enough, you run the risk of locking up your cash flow in unsold product or customers not buying because they cannot receive something immediately. You can minimize these complications by managing your inventory responsibly. Minimize Overdue Invoices: Many small business owners end up having poor cash flow because they have overdue invoices from clients. For this reason, it is important to reduce the amount of past due invoices by giving customers incentives for paying early or on time, and implementing late fees for anything that comes in after the due date. Have a Cash Reserve: When all is said and done, the best way to maintain a steady cash flow is to have a reserve of cash that can get you through 3-6 months, should business become slower. While this can be difficult, it is the simplest way to ensure that you continue to pay your employees and vendors on time. Managing your cash flow is one of the keys to running a prosperous and long-lasting business. If you have questions about your business' cash flow, contact the accountants at Steven J. Wick. We are here to help you and your business succeed.The post 5 Tips for Managing Cash Flow in Your Business appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog Understanding Sales Tax and Online ShoppingWith all the recent changes to online shopping, the accountants at Steven J. Wick want everyone to understand the new sales tax laws and how it can affect you come tax time. When online retailers choose to not charge sales tax, they are now required to send customers a notice stating the amount of "use" tax that they owe, since sales tax was not collected on the original purchase. This has become known as the "Amazon tax" law, since Amazon was one of the largest retailers not charging online shoppers for sales tax. For online shoppers and brick-and-mortar shops this means: Online Shoppers For online shoppers in Colorado, the new sales tax law means that you are responsible for paying tax on purchases over $500, for online retailers who do not collect sales tax. You are supposed to receive a summary of the tax you owe at the end of the year. Online shoppers have always technically owed use tax, but few know about it or actually pay it. The "Amazon tax" law will start holding shoppers more accountable for their sales tax. Brick-and-Mortar Shops Since stores with a physical location in the state are already required to collect sales tax on purchases, the "Amazon tax" law does not apply to them. It does, however, attempt to create a more level playing field between online retailers and physical store locations. To learn more about collecting tax for your online retail business, contact the accountants at Steven J. Wick today. One of our Fort Collins CPAs would be happy to sit down and answer any questions you may have about the "Amazon tax" law and its effect on your ecommerce site or recent online purchases.The post Understanding Sales Tax and Online Shopping appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog 3 Rules for Telecommuters to Deduct Home Office ExpensesEmployees who telecommute for work may be eligible to deduct some of their home office expenses on their taxes. Now while this does apply for many telecommuters, it is important to go through these 3 rules to make sure you qualify for home office deductions. If you are ever unsure about your tax forms and deduction eligibility, make sure to get in touch with one of the CPAs at Steven J. Wick. A home office qualifies as a tax deduction if it exists for the convenience of your employer. This means that your employer either requires that you have a home office or the office is necessary for the survival of your employer's business. A home office can't simply be for your personal convenience and still qualify for a tax deduction. Next, the home office must be the main place you conduct business. This means that you regularly work, take appointments, or meet with clients from the home office. The last requirement is that the home office is used regularly and exclusively for work. This does not mean, however, that the home office must be in its own separate room. It can be a portion of space from another room, but the office portion is used solely for work. For more information on telecommuting and self-employed tax deductions, contact the accountants at Steven J. Wick today. One of our Fort Collins CPAs would be happy to sit down and answer any questions you may have about the upcoming tax season and what qualifies as a deductible home office expense.The post 3 Rules for Telecommuters to Deduct Home Office Expenses appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog 4 Types of Retirement Plans for Small BusinessesOne of the best ways for small business owners to recruit and keep loyal employees is to offer a retirement plan. Not only are retirement plans a great way to reward employees, it can also result in some nice tax incentives for small business owners. When it comes to making financial decisions for your Fort Collins business, trust the accountants at Steven J. Wick. Some of the best types of retirement plans that are eligible for a tax credit include: Solo 401(k) Plans: These plans are only suitable for those business owners who work by themselves or with just their spouse. This type of 401(K) is extremely beneficial because it allows business owners to save as both an employer and an employee. Defined-Benefit Plans: A defined-benefit plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that is based on a formula that takes into account the employee's employment and salary history with the company. SEP Plans: This type of retirement plan can be set up by a business owner, including a self-employed person. An SEP is an IRA-based retirement plan where employers can make tax-deductible contributions to an account on behalf of their employees. SIMPLE IRAs: This plan, like the SEP, can be set up by a business owner or self-employed individual. In this case though, an employee can make contributions to their own account from their pretax salary. This means the tax is delayed on the money until it is dispersed. This plan is best for businesses with less than 100 employees, and no other type of retirement plan in place. To learn more about the benefits of offering your employees retirement plans, contact the accountants at Steven J. Wick today. One of our Fort Collins CPAs would be happy to sit down and answer any questions you may have about retirement plans and tax credits.The post 4 Types of Retirement Plans for Small Businesses appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
|Steven J Wick & Associates Blog Entrepreneurs Need Accountants: Here's WhyHundreds of new businesses will pop up every year in Colorado, but a vast majority of them will close within the first couple of years, usually due to financial loss. Entrepreneurs may be tempted to forge ahead on their own, without professional financial help, and this is a risky move. Starting a new venture is hard work, but with a qualified small business accountant by your side, you're much more likely to succeed, and more likely to avoid major losses. If you have recently opened a new company, or are considering doing so, here are a few reasons why you need to bring an accountant on board! Do your taxes properly For many small businesses, doing taxes can be incredibly stressful and confusing, but with a CPA, you can feel confident that you're in the clear. They will know the right categories, tax rates, business write-offs, and other deductions that you qualify for. Settle accounts When you're first starting out, every penny is important to you, but sometimes you need help getting paid correctly and on time. An accountant can help you keep track of your invoices, past-due accounts, and late payments. Plan for growth With a trained financial eye, you can know exactly where you stand and how fast you can sustainably grow. A CPA can help you project into the future of your business, and make wise investments. Manage the books Entrepreneurs are busy people, and when you're trying to build your brand and get new customers, the last thing you want to deal with is balancing your account sheets. Leave the book keeping to an accountant, and focus your energy on more important things. When you need an experienced CPA to help you run your small business, reach out to our office today to learn more about our services!The post Entrepreneurs Need Accountants: Here's Why appeared first on SJ Wick CPA.Steven J Wick & Associates Blog|
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Steven J Wick & Associates' headquarters is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA 80528.
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